His undeniable talent, charm and rugged good looks have rocketed country singer Keith Urban to global superstardom.
Raised in Queensland, Australia, Keith's passion for music started early on. When he was just 6 years old, Keith picked up his first guitar—and the rest is music history. Keith scored four number one hits in Australia before taking his act to Nashville in 1992. To date, Keith has had 11 number one hits, won three Grammys® and snagged every award country music has to offer.
In 2005, Keith was busy performing for his devoted fans and writing music when he found love. He married fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman, an Oscar®-winning actress, the following year.
His latest album, Get Closer, is a musical love letter to Nicole, the mother of his daughter, Sunday Rose. "I didn't even know I was such a big fan until I listened to that CD, Get Closer. That is something," Oprah says. "I can feel your heart in every song."
Keith says it was a joy to make the record. "I think the most enjoyable record I've ever made," he says. "Things have lined up, absolutely. [This is] the best place I've ever been."
Keith's life hasn't always lined up. In 2006, a few months after he and Nicole married, he says he was faced with a decision. An addiction to alcohol and drugs—mainly cocaine—had taken over his life. "I had to make a decision which road I was going to take, once and for all," Keith says. "I'd been at that crossroads before and always taken the wrong road."
"What was different about this time?" Oprah asks.
"Love," Keith says.
At the time, Keith says he knew that if he didn't surrender and commit to overcoming his addiction, he'd repeat past mistakes. "[I thought], 'So maybe if I really want to be courageous and adventurous, let's take the road less traveled this time,'" he says. "It was a huge hole in my life that was going to be filled by the right thing eventually, or it was always going to be filled by the wrong thing."
Reality hit home when Nicole and a few close friends staged at intervention for Keith. "It was really a profound moment in so many ways. Then, the way in which Nic handled that moment was just perfect," Keith says. "Everything was just designed, I believe, for that moment to fuse us together."
At first, Keith says he questioned whether he should go to rehab so soon after getting married. "[I thought], 'Surely let's give it a few years so we've got some solidity, because this kind of thing could tear us apart,'" Keith says. "'This could just destroy us.'"
Ultimately, he decided it was time to get help. Keith left the same night as the intervention for treatment. "I just said, 'I don't want to do anything but go,'" he says. "I didn't care about anything else."
While in treatment, Keith dealt with issues that he says contributed to his alcohol and drug use. What had he been missing? "A sense of being centered and connected with something greater than me," he says. "You can call it what you like, God. There are a million names for it. But, ultimately, for me, it's love. That's the thing that ... I was missing in my life. Love for myself."
Loving himself, he realized, would also help him love others. "If I don't have it, I can't give it away," Keith says. "I look back now and realize Nic has taught me so much and brought so much into my life and opened my eyes in so many ways."
Early in his relationship with Nicole, Keith says they went to a park. While sitting on a bench, he says he asked her, "How's your heart?"
"I didn't know why I asked that question," Keith says. "I'd never asked anybody that before. I don't know what answer I was expecting."
She answered, "It's open."
"It was not only beautiful because it said so much about her, but it instantly made me ask myself: 'Is mine? Is my heart open?'" Keith says. "'Or is it 80 percent open, but I've got a little exit strategy? If I do, then why is that?'"
As anyone who's ever loved and lost knows, once you've had your heart broken, it's hard to love again. For this reason, Keith says he was scared. "I looked back and realized that I stayed in this pattern because I wasn't really loving," he says. "I hadn't met the right person. I wasn't the right person, but I wasn't really giving myself fully. I was holding back because I was scared."
Although Keith and Nicole's relationship reads like a Hollywood love story, Oprah believes it's something more. "What I hear you saying is something even deeper because I think ... 'Having an open heart,' that is my definition of spirituality," she says.
For Oprah, spirituality means that when you have an open heart, you're open to receive all the abundance that the higher power—God and grace—has to offer to you.
"Absolutely," Keith says.
Looking back, Keith admits he was a little intimidated when he first met Nicole. They were at an event called "G'Day L.A." in Los Angeles where they were both being honored when he spotted her backstage. "I swear to you, she glided across the room, like floated," Keith says. "I don't know how she did it. It's like she's standing there, and she didn't walk. It was out of this world."
When Keith saw Nicole standing alone for a moment, he gathered up the nerve to say hello. "I plucked up the courage to go and do it, very nervously, and trying to be all cool," he says. "[I] introduced myself and she was very pleasant and everything, and there was that moment of waiting for the next thing to be said—of which I didn't know if I was bothering her or what was going on—so I just sort of said, 'Well, nice to meet you' and I just walked away."
Later, a friend convinced Keith to try talking to her again. "I went back over and apologized, and we just started talking and just really clicked," Keith says.
Keith has been sober for four years, and this time—he's been to rehab three times in eight years—he says everything is different. Keith credits Nicole with saving him.
After Nicole found out Keith struggled with addiction, he says he would have understood if she left...but she didn't.
Inside the cover of Keith's latest CD, he wrote a beautiful love letter to his wife, the woman who stood by his side. It reads:
"Nicole Mary—I continue to be brought to my knees by this love of ours... I am in awe of how this blessed family we are creating stretches and fearlessly opens my vulnerable heart...and I just want to be a better man, for you, and father for our heavenly Sunday Rose and have you go to sleep every night knowing that no one has ever, or will ever, love you as much as I do...and all we need is faith."
"I think that's why the music sounded even better to me," Oprah says. "Because it came from that space."